Pope Francis Opens Private Palace to Visitors

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Travelers now have the opportunity to step into a lush house of history. Pope Francis has now opened the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence and vacation spot for pontiffs throughout history, to the public for viewing.

Pope Francis has never stayed at the palace in his three years of pontiff, but instead stays in a hotel inside the city-state. Fifteen popes have vacationed inside the apartment since the 17th century.

Twenty-two never-before-seen rooms will be available to admire, including a private library, study, chapel and bedroom. Visitors have had access to the vast gardens since 2014 and the grounds and organic farm since last year. Now they can also see golden-trimmed furniture, marble floors and other historical treasures that have been seen by only a handful since the 17th century.

The papal apartments are filled with stories, many taking place in the bedchamber. During the Nazi occupation in WWII, the residence opened to refugees and more than 40 children were born. Two popes, Pius XII and Paul VI also died in the bedroom.

Just outside of Rome on Lake Albano, the residence can be an addition to your Italy bucket list. Tours are 10 euros per adult. Take a peek into a centuries-old palace full of untold stories.

McGee Nall is a travel intern with Paste and a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.